A connected tram system means more resources for public transportAs well as better mobility in the metropolitan area and a 107% increase in users, a tram system connected along Av. Diagonal and based on public and unified management could mean 64 million euros in profit, which could be spent on the entire public transport network.
The studies conducted endorse the mobility efficiency to be gained by connecting the tram system along Av. Diagonal as it would connect eight municipalities with the city centre and cut public transport journey times between Pl. Francesc Macià and Pl. Glòries by 15 minutes. Among other aspects, they also now show that the connection of the tram system would by economically efficient.
A 44% increase in the infrastructure would mean 107% more users on working days (227,000), doubling the current volume of passengers, according to the report by the Economic Research Bureau.
The extra volume would equate to 64 million euros, which could be reinvested to improve the entire public transport system, particularly surface transport (bus network). The calculations are based on the period up to the year 2032, when the existing private concessions for trams expire and the network could become completely publicly-managed.
A tram system for Barcelona residents
The tram system is currently managed with private capital via two concessions which expire in 2032. What happens with the system after that is to be decided by the consortium Àrea de Transports Metropolitans (ATM), made up of the Government of Catalonia (51%), and Barcelona City Council, the Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB) and the Association of Municipalities for Mobility and Urban Transport (49%).
The municipal model aims to replace the current system with the public management of the whole tram system, starting with funding for the construction of the central section with municipal resources. This would leave the way clear for full public management when the current tram concessions expire. The cost of buying out the concessions immediately would be somewhere between 220 and 400 million euros.
“We’re proposing a unified management model for the tram system based on public leadership and without the mortgages of the current concessions, so that the resources which could be generated by connecting the tram system, endorsed by studies, helps strengthen the public transport system”, noted Janet Sanz, the Deputy Mayor for Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility.
The City Council pledges to provide the necessary investment to build the central tram infrastructure, which would cost 88 million euros, providing it is compensated by the ATM or the Government of Catalonia, as well as taking responsibility for the urban project in the avenue, which would cost 67 million euros.
The initiative would provide the basis for a transition towards a public management model for the service and could help gain the support of the ATM.
Before that, municipal agreement needs to be reached to approve the connection of the tram system in Av. Diagonal. The project is currently being debated by the commission studying public transport connectivity in the avenue.